1991 Graduate of Thomasville High School
22 years of educational experience
B.A. in Mathematics and Secondary Education from State University of West Georgia
MS. Ed. in Teaching and Learning from Liberty University
Ed. S. in Curriculum and Development from Liberty University
Ed. S. in Leadership from the University of West GA.
As I look back over my life, I can truly say that the Lord has been watching over me. Growing up in Thomasville, Georgia was an experience that prepared me for challenges that I now face. I am the youngest of three children. My mother and father were married for about four years. They separated when I was born. I never really knew my dad when I was growing up. I do remember that I had a male figure in my life as well as my uncles who were always looking out for my brother and me. During my elementary school years, I remember our house catching fire. All that we owned was lost in the fire. This changed the course of our lives. I say that because my grandfather had willed that house to my mother. From what I understand, there were some issues with the insurance, taxes on the house, as well as other important business that was not addressed. We had to find a place to live and with no money saved, we were forced to live in the back room of an elderly couple’s house. My step-father was able to find us a house a few months later across town. This was an old house that needed a lot of work. We pitched in and did the best we could in terms of fixing the house. Many of my childhood memories came from this house. We changed schools but the people in the community, especially my teachers (from my old school - Jerger Elementary and my new school - Harper Elementary), ensured a smooth transition. I didn’t realize it then, but I do now.
We struggled financially throughout my childhood. My step-father and mother would work and then get laid off. This was an ongoing process in Thomasville. They did not graduate from high school; therefore, they were limited with their qualifications. My mother realized this and she would tell us not to be in the situation she was in and that we needed to “get an education”. I was always told, “No one can take your education away from you”. I learned that my folks did not do things the right way all the time, but they did inform us that they were not being good examples. I always thought that was strange - “Do as I say, not as I do”. I understand now that they were trying to tell us not to do the things that they were doing because they were not living the proper way, but we should make the right decisions when given the opportunity. I digress… I remember working at an early age of eleven. I worked at a (don’t laugh now) bait and tackle/ pawn shop. I would come in around 6:30 am and work until 5:30 pm. Since I was a child following behind my step-father, the owners of the store allowed me to sweep and mop the floors, restock the coolers, pick up trash outside, and count worms to place in the cups that we sold. I pretty much had to stay out the way when customers came in or when “grown folks” were talking.
During my middle school years we had a tragic accident that split my family apart. I didn’t mention it earlier but my parents drank heavily and this caused the accident. After the accident my sister lived with my grandmother, my brother and I eventually went to stay with our father, and my mother was put away for a while. The Lord showed mercy on our family and within two years we were all back together (that was a miracle and a testimony). I loved my high school years. I may be a “dork” but I always loved school. It was at this point and time that I knew that I wanted to become a teacher. I felt that school provided students with an opportunity to better themselves, not to mention as my mother stated, “The teachers took time out of there busy lives to help you!” Also, you were able to learn, socialize with your friends, play football, and don’t forget that they fed you twice a day (and Thomasville fed us GOOD). My first two years of high school were an adaption period then I started flourishing academically and athletically. My teachers and coaches influenced me and helped me during my high school career. The biggest impact came from my coaches as well as my uncles (Sammy, Gary, and Earl). I left Thomasville with the mindset that I had to make it, be successful, and become a role model for others. I knew that I had to get myself in position to be able to help others because I had so many people who had helped me.
While attending West Georgia I met several people who impacted my life. Most of them had a positive impact but there were a couple who negatively impacted my life. I was smart enough to disassociate myself with those type people. I continued my quest to become a teacher. As I worked my way through college I knew that people were praying for me. I did not know anything about college, and I would be the first in my family to go to college. I realized that I had to change my lifestyle after having my son, Brandon. He made me realize that I needed to start doing things in a different manner. After finishing at West Georgia I started working at a treatment center for emotionally-disturbed children. This was a very challenging job. These kids had been through some horrific situations and they needed psychological help in order for them to be able to function in normal society. After working one year at Murphy Harpst Vashti, I was fortunate enough to receive a job teaching and coaching at Villa Rica High School. This was a very familiar place because I completed my student teaching at this very school. I found the job situation to be a very easy transition. I knew all the teachers and most of the students. After two years, there was a coaching change, and I accepted a job at Alexander High School in Douglasville, Georgia. This job was interesting because I linked up with Tim Barron, D.J. Curbow, and Randall Curbow. We were all at West Georgia at one point in time taking classes. After my short stay at Alexander, we all left there to come to wonderful Heard County. It has been a blessing ever since.
Around 2007, a beautiful young lady entered my life. I had spoken with Coach Barron earlier about finding the “right” person. He stated that when she comes along, you will know. That person for me was Kelly Lewis. She encouraged me to seek the Lord. Shortly afterwards, she continued to encourage me to be more spiritual. I then gave my life to the Lord because I knew that I could not do the things that Christ had for me if I did not put the Lord first in all that I do. Kelly and I have three wonderful kids Brandon, Bradford, and Kenzlie. I strongly felt that in order to raise my family the right way I needed to lead by example which was following the “Word of God”. This step has made me become more insightful as a teacher, coach, and a leader. From that point, I started realizing that I wanted to do more things in the area of leadership, being a role-model, and community-building. I knew that my next career would be in school leadership. I pursued a Master’s degree in Teaching and Learning (Summa Cum Laude) and a Specialist’s degree in Curriculum and Development. I am currently in the process of pursuing a Doctorate Degree in Leadership. Heard County has been and continues to be a wonderful place to call home.
I strongly feel that my experiences will allow me to help other students who are considered economically disadvantaged, overlooked, and/or at risk. I pray that these students will read my story and see that he or she can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Also, I feel that my experiences will allow me to make tough decisions, be a servant to my teachers, and become a leader who is respected and admired by my co-workers. I pray that this respect and admiration comes from my faith, ethics, character, and work ethic. God Bless.